The West Bank settlement of Efrat
The West Bank settlement of Efrat
The West Bank Jewish community of Efrat

NGO warns lawmakers against West Bank annexation

Ahead of Pompeo visit, group pens letter warning of 'personal, international legal ramifications' for MKs and ministers supporting application of Israeli sovereignty over contested territory

Elior Levy |
Published: 05.12.20 , 22:28
Combatants for Peace, an Israeli-Palestinian NGO promoting a two-state solution between the two peoples, launched an official letter on Tuesday warning lawmakers of the potential consequences if Israel extends its sovereignty over territories in the West Bank.
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  • The memorandum, penned and delivered by attorney Eitay Mack for the Israeli-Palestinian pro-peace NGO, comes shortly before an expected visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scheduled for Wednesday and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to begin by July 1 the annexation of territory under a peace plan presented by U.S. President Donald Trump.
    The West Bank settlement of Efrat The West Bank settlement of Efrat
    The West Bank Jewish community of Efrat
    "As is well known," the letter said, "in some countries, there is universal jurisdiction as well as other and varied legal options for imposing sanctions, such as prohibiting entry visas, confiscation of personal property, or a prohibition on business with human rights and international law violators. There is already a list of Israeli public figures who refrain from visiting certain countries around the world."
    In the letter, lawmakers were advised to examine the implications of voting on the sensitive issue, which is likely to spark international controversy.
    "We suggest that you consult with an independent, unbiased legal expert before casting your vote and go over the possible ramifications listed in this letter," the memorandum said.
    מכתב עו"ד לחברי הכנסתמכתב עו"ד לחברי הכנסת
    The letter sent to MKs by Combatants for Peace
    The letter also said that any lawmaker who will vote for a partial or full annexation of the contested territory will "be held responsible for committing severe crimes according to international law and disobeying UN Security Council decisions – leading to possible personal sanctions around the world."
    The letter also said that the United States does not possess the legal authority to back such a violation of international law, and therefore, writes attorney Mack, that Netanyahu and Blue & White chief Benny Gantz are "creating a façade of lies by which a unilateral annexation will be considered legal if it had the approval of U.S. President Donald Trump."
    Combatants for Peace CEO Yonatan Gher explained that "every Knesset member and minister must know that their vote for an illegal annexation of territory will lead to international legal ramifications."
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